By Mail Shark
I hear a lot of auto repair shop owners say they don't want to offer a cheap oil change coupon on their direct mail marketing. They feel the cheap oil change coupon brings in the wrong clientele, and they don't want to devalue their brand and position themselves as the cheap oil change shop.
As a quick note, the concept behind the cheap oil change offer is that it is a loss leader and utilized to entice new customers. The key is getting new customers through the door, which the cheap oil change can be extremely effective at doing. Once you get them in your shop and you do a great job for them, you can build a great rapport with them and win them over as a loyal customer.
All that said, you will always know your business better than any marketing company. Therefore, we certainly can't argue with the fact that you would not like to use this strategy if in fact you have already executed a cheap oil change coupon campaign and it did bring in the wrong clientele.
However, having an oil change coupon as part of your shop's direct mail marketing strategy is critical. Here are a few reasons why.
An oil change is something that every non-electric vehicle owner will need at some point in time. Consequently, I would venture to say that most vehicle owners are familiar with what an oil change is more so than any other maintenance service. Compare that to a timing belt replacement coupon or a serpentine belt replacement, each of which the average consumer may not be familiar. When you have a coupon that is familiar and relevant to everyone that you are targeting, you have a much higher chance of increasing redemption rates.
Therefore, for those shop owners that are afraid of attracting the wrong clientele or devaluing their brand with a low-price point oil change, the simple fix is to increase your oil change price point to a number that you are comfortable with and that is still a value from a consumer perspective. An alternate option would be to offer a specific $ off discount that you are comfortable with — for example, $10 off any conventional oil change & 15 off any full synthetic.
My next recommendation, if you are a general auto repair shop, which is a non-negotiable one, in my opinion, is to structure your oil change coupon to offer both a conventional and full synthetic oil change offer. All too often, shop owners only offer a conventional oil change coupon. A conventional oil change coupon is fine. However, it will never appeal or be applicable to owners of vehicles that require full synthetic oil. There is no reason to limit your offer to only appeal to a specific set of vehicles. It's crucial you cast a wider net and appeal to as many vehicle owners as possible. The simple and quick solution is to offer both options.
PRO TIP: if you are concerned about coupons bringing in the wrong clientele, think again. Even the wealthiest consumers use coupons.
Here is a snippet from our blog post entitled "WHY YOU SHOULD BE SENDING DIRECT MAIL COUPONS:
It might seem surprising, but wealthy people love saving money with coupons. In fact, households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more are twice as likely to use coupons than households earning less than $35,000 a year.
Wealthy customers may be able to afford your most expensive products and services, but that doesn't mean they don't want a good deal. The majority of them are cautious about spending money and rarely make frivolous, unnecessary purchases. Rather than viewing your business as cheap, they'll appreciate your coupons and the opportunity to save money,
You can check out the entire blog post here.
Executive Vice President of Sales
Email: [email protected]
Oil Change Coupon Example.pdf
With A/C season fast approaching, just curious about what everyone is offering in terms of pricing, how you buy your refrigerant, do you offer free checks, and do you market A/C service in your area? What equipment like robinair lets say, do you use?
By Ron Ipach
Maybe this has happened to a number of you auto repair shop owners out there… you put together an offer to send to your prospects and clients. Not just any offer, I mean a really, really killer, can’t-miss deal like "$50 off any service that you perform." Now you know that there will be skeptics out there looking for the hidden strings, so you announce that there is no minimum purchase required and no restrictions on what they can buy. And to prove that you won’t jack up the price first and then take the $50 off the total later, you tell them not to produce the coupon until after they’ve been presented with the bill. Oh, and for the icing on the cake, you offer a 100% refund if they aren’t totally thrilled with their experience with your auto repair shop.
The timing is right. Folks are always looking for the good deal. They need what you are offering. You send your no-fail offer to the right list of folks, and then you get ready for the bundles of people beating a path to your door… but they never come. What the heck happened? Did you miss something? Was the offer too good to be true? Wouldn’t you just love to ask every one of them why they didn’t take you up on your offer?
Even the most experienced of marketers aren’t immune to this phenomenon to a certain degree. A couple years ago, I offered to give away copies of a brand-new marketing course to the first 200 shop owners that wanted them. The offer was (I thought?) brain-dead simple. Invest $197 to get the course. Take 60 days to go through the course then call my office and get all of your money back. (WOW!) I also added a 30-day, no-excuses needed, 100% money back guarantee too. And to cover what I thought was the final hurdle, I assured everyone that there were no more payments and nothing else to buy.
While I still ended up doing very well with this campaign, even though I was a bit short of my goal of 200. What went wrong? Was the offer too good to be true? Was it too complicated? Did I miss something?
The point of today’s message isn’t to commiserate about the lack of response to our advertising efforts. Nope, it’s to tell you about a free online site called Survey Monkey that we can use to help us find out where we went wrong with our offers. With Survey Monkey we can set up a quick 2-minute survey and ask our prospects why they didn’t respond. And then, based on their answers, hopefully we’ll be able to craft or edit existing offers that will get a much better response the next time.
Because I was able to survey clients who the deal was offered to, I was able to improve upon my course offer and fill the last few spots to hit my 200 goal.
Hopefully if your shop can start surveying clients and prospects more often, you'll have a better handle on what they want and what offers will get them more excited.
- Ron Ipach (a.k.a. Captain Car Count)
President/Founder of Repair Shop Coach More articles and content like this and originated through Ron Ipach's Car Count Daily campaign Auto Repair Shop Owners, Managers, and Automotive Industry Professionals are invited to join 'Car Count Daily Boosters' LinkedIn group to provide resources and gain insight on boosting car count DAILY and filling up the bays in their shops.
By Joe Marconi
According to a recent survey featured in the May issue of National Oil and Lube News, 38% of the motoring public usually go to a new car dealer to have their oil changed. Second place was a quick lube and third place was the traditional auto facility.
Now, I have to admit, this survey was done by a publication dedicated to the Quick Lube industry, so I am not sure of any bias here. But it is worth taking note that the people polled were car owners from across the country. And, in spite of what we think about the new car dealers, they do want to penetrate the consumer market we took for granted for so many decades.
The point is that in today’s competitive climate we need to take a proactive approach to our business. Anyone who knows me or reads my articles and posts know I have been preaching this for some time now.
We also need to be convenient and deliver world-class service. We need trained people on the phone and on the service counter. Of course you need quality techs, training, information systems and the best equipment. But, look at your business through the eyes of your customers. That will tell you your next marketing strategy.
If I were you, I would do my own survey….find out for yourself….Who’s changing YOUR customer’s oil?